INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT HOAs
According to the Foundation for Community Association Research, approximately 22-24 Percent of the U.S. population live in private communities governed by Condominium, Cooperative and Housing Associations.
U.S. Residents Living in HOAs
Number HOAs in the U.S. Over Time
Source: Community Associations Institute - National and State Statistical Review for 2017 Community Association Data
LATEST ARTICLES & ANALYSES
Up until the 1968 passage of the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), homeowners associations had a lot of leeway to interfere with religious practices or promote particular denominations. But now that the FHA is firmly entrenched in the national lexicon, there are significant limitations on the power an HOA has to restrict religion. The Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3604(b), makes it unlawful for “housing providers” (including community associations) “[t]o discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin.”
Restrictive covenants in homeowners’ associations are not unusual—nearly every community has them. For homeowners, the restrictions are something of a trade-off. You accept a limitation on how you can use your property because, if everyone else in the community does, too, the neighborhood as a whole will be better off. ‘If we all agree to keep our yards well-maintained and our houses painted nice-looking colors, we all benefit from a more attractive neighborhood with higher property values.’ Courts view HOA restrictions along the same lines as any contract and presume the restrictions are enforceable unless there’s a specific reason why the restriction should not be enforced.
For community associations, the challenge is to craft an unmanned-aircraft policy that balances the interests of amateur drone operators against the rights of their neighbors. On one hand, drones unquestionably offer many practical advantages, and piloting a drone can be a fun and rewarding hobby. On the other, homeowners have a right to a safe and nuisance-free community where they can enjoy their property and families without any unwarranted intrusions—whether by man or machine. It can be tricky to find that cozy middle ground, but doing so gets easier if you know a little more about the positives and negative aspects of drones.